Supporting Your Health and Wellbeing Before, During, and After Kidney Transplant (2023)

By Elizabeth Steinberg Christofferson, PhD and Leah Grande, MA

Preparing for and receiving a kidney transplant, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, can be an uncertain and overwhelming process. This article discusses tips to promote positive mental and physical health for yourself or your loved ones.

Preparing for a Transplant

There are many different emotions associated with deciding to go on the transplant list, and all of these feelings are normal and valid! You may feel excited about the potential for improved health and energy, fewer restrictions on what you can eat and drink (although you still want to eat a heart-healthy diet!), more time in your day, and changes in quality of life.7 Many patients also feel nervous about the risks of surgery. You may worry about remembering to take anti-rejection (immunosuppressant) medications at the same time every day or have concerns about medication side-effects.7 Many people also feel uncertain about the future and worry about the risk of rejection with their new transplant. Perhaps you have lost a kidney transplant in the past and have worries that the new transplant will not be successful.14 These feelings and worries are normal. Caring for your mental health and overall wellbeing are just as important as caring for your physical health—in fact, the two are very connected! Here are some actions that can help build resilience during this time:

(Video) Kidney Transplant: Preparing for Surgery, Recovery, and How To Stay Healthy | Mass General Brigham

  • Plan and practice taking your medications on time every day. If you are taking few medications currently, you can start practicing with a sugar pill. Try out different strategies, such as using a timer, pillbox, or app.
  • Take care of your health and keep your appointments with your physicians. You’ll continue to meet with your transplant team before your transplant as they monitor your overall health. Complete any required medical tests and procedures that they require before transplant. Stay organized with an electronic or paper copy of your medical records too.
  • Build a strong relationship with your medical team. Learn everything you can about transplant surgery, your medications, and what life will be like post-transplant. Write a list of questions for your doctor, so you can share your concerns and learn about the transplant process.6
  • Rely on your social supports. Share your thoughts and feelings with friends, family, and other important people in your life.1
  • Make connections with the kidney transplant community through outreach services at the hospital.1 For example, peer mentors are often available through hospital transplant programs, transplant organizations, kidney organizations, and ESRD Networks.
  • Meet with a mental health provider for help supporting your emotional wellbeing. Feelings of anxiety and stress are common during the transplant process. Your clinic social worker or a therapist can help to boost your resilience and provide tools to help with recovery and transplant success. Especially if you have a history of anxiety or depression, it is important to focus on your mental health to prepare for your transplant.9
  • Work on quitting use of nicotine, alcohol, and other substances.9 Heavy drinking can harm your kidneys and liver and lead to kidney or liver failure. Other drugs can cause complications, kidney damage, heart failure and even death. Talk to your medical team about pursuing pre-transplant treatment for substance use, as well as post-transplant relapse prevention treatment. Every drug you take passes through your kidneys, so it is important to check with your doctor first before taking any new drug or medicine (e.g., pain medications, antibiotics).7
  • Follow diet and exercise guidelines as prescribed by your medical team. It may be helpful to meet with a dietician and/or physical therapist. Also work on getting adequate sleep (7-9 hours for most adults), as sleep is a huge component of overall health and helps reduce stress, depression, and anxiety symptoms.

Finding a Donor and Being on the Waitlist

Once you’ve started to pursue a kidney transplant, it can feel daunting being on the transplant waitlist or asking someone to be evaluated as a living donor. It can also feel overwhelming keeping up with recent changes to the donation process and transplant surgeries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These policies are constantly changing, and it is important to talk with your hospital to learn more.

Currently, there are over 92,000 people on the kidney transplant waiting list in the United States, and in 2019, there were 23,401 kidney transplants (16,534 deceased donor transplants and 6,867 living donor transplants) (based on data as of August 27, 2020; Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, 2020). Due to the waiting list, some people also find it helpful to think about talking to family or friends about being a living donor.

However, it can feel scary or uncomfortable asking family or friends to be a living donor. Sometimes people worry about the potential health risks for a family member or friend if they were to donate an organ or worry about the guilt they will feel if their donor experiences negative outcomes. Others worry that they will feel obligated towards their donor or their donor will have a “hold over them” in the future.14 Even if you do not want to ask someone to be a donor, it can be helpful to share your story to make others aware of your need. Some people decide to share their story with their social groups, co-workers, places of worship, or local newspaper.7 The U.S. Government Information on Organ Donation and Transplantation at has a variety of educational brochures and information that you can share with potential donors. You can also check with your hospital transplant program, kidney organizations, and transplant organizations for their material. Additionally, some transplant centers participate in kidney paired exchange programs when a patient’s living donor is not a good match for them, so be sure to ask your transplant center about this option too. You also can view the video recording of Helping Your Donor Find You at

The financial aspects of chronic illness, End-Stage Renal Disease, dialysis, and transplant may also cause distress or challenges, and it is important to explore resources to decrease this stress. There are several organizations that help with the financial burden of transplant through organized fundraising for transplant recipients or living donors and additional resources that may be helpful in terms of the logistical and financial aspects of being a transplant recipient or living donor:

You may not have the option of a living donor, or you may want to pursue options for both living and deceased donation. Following an evaluation at a transplant hospital, you may be placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) national transplant waiting list for a deceased donor. UNOS matches recipients with deceased donor organs in a fair and transparent system, using a combination of blood-type and antibody matching, time with kidney failure, and a few other factors that give people priority on the list. It can be anxiety-provoking and frustrating being on the waiting list and wondering when you might receive a call. Even after receiving a call and going into the hospital, you may find that the donor kidney is not healthy or that your body has a negative reaction to the donor’s blood.12 Anxiety and depressive symptoms can increase while being on the kidney waitlist; it is important to rely on your social supports, peer mentors, a therapist, and the psychosocial team at your center for help during this time.3

Preparing for Your Medical Stay

  • Pack your bags early! Especially if you are on the deceased donor list, you’ll want to be prepared to leave as soon as you receive the call that there is an organ available. Bring your insurance information, a list of your medications, an extra 24-hour supply of medication and any other necessities.
  • Also bring comfortable clothes, blankets, books, pictures, electronic devices and anything that would help you feel comfortable and occupied during your hospital stay.6
  • Due to new safety precautions for COVID-19, many hospitals are limiting the number of visitors during medical stays. Make a plan with your medical team, family and friends about who can visit you in the hospital. This can be a difficult decision, and many patients and families feel sad that they cannot access their full social supports.
  • Make a plan for who can drive you from the hospital and care for you when you return home.6 During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is especially important to think carefully about your interactions with others following transplant. During the initial post-transplant period, patients take higher steroids and are most at risk for having a compromised immune system. Many people are careful to limit their exposure to COVID-19 infection, even though this social isolation during recovery can be challenging. You can learn more about transplant and COVID-19 on the American Society of Transplantation website:

During Your Medical Stay

Being in the hospital can feel stressful, disorienting, boring, and uncomfortable. It’s okay to feel sad or upset. Having limited visitors during the pandemic can also feel lonely and isolating.

  • Talk with a member of your psychosocial team. You can ask about music and art therapy services or visits from a therapy dog.
  • Connect with friends and family virtually when you feel ready for it, and also get plenty of rest. Remember that while your friends and family may all reach out to you, you aren’t obligated to talk to them until you’re ready. Some recipients ask a family member or friend to send out updates to their primary network so that they don’t have to worry about this as they recover in the hospital.
  • Share your needs and advocate for your wellbeing. Your medical team wants to hear your concerns and to make sure you are comfortable.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness strategies to cope with pain and stress and improve sleep.5 Check out smartphone apps like Breathe2Relax, Headspace, Calm, and Ten Percent. These strategies are also helpful to continue after transplant at home!

(Video) Patient Insight - Emotional Wellbeing After Transplant

Life After a Transplant

Take time to care for your mental health. Although mental health can improve after transplant,13 you can still be at risk for anxiety and depression.10 About one in four people with a kidney transplant meet criteria for depression.2 Coping with illness and going through a transplant can be very stressful and sometimes people experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress or PTSD.4,11 It is important to care for your mental health because it affects your physical health as well. Feeling depressed and down is related to additional health problems, such as forgetting to take medications or loss of the transplant (graft failure).2 It may also be helpful to talk to your provider and ask for help from others if you notice problems with your thinking or memory. Chronic kidney disease is related to some cognitive problems over time, but these can improve after surgery.8 However, some problems with learning and memory may remain. It is important to connect with your social supports and medical team if you feel memory problems may be affecting your adherence to medications.

Additionally, some people experience a range of emotions towards their deceased or living donors. Recipients may feel extreme gratitude, but also guilt, especially if their donor was a deceased donor. It is important to discuss these thoughts and feelings with your social supports and your psychosocial team (social workers, psychologists) at your center. Organ procurement organizations (OPOs) can help direct a thank you note to the deceased donor family, if you feel that this would be helpful or important for you. However, there is no expectation that you must be in contact with your deceased donor family, and everyone has their own individual response to the process and journey of being a recipient or a donor.

It is important to take your medications every day and at the same time. It can help to:

  • Set a recurring alarm on your phone, use a smartphone app, or use a pillbox. The MediSafe, Pill Reminder, RxRemind, and Round Health apps are a great way to set up your medication reminders.
  • Write down the days and times you take your medicine on a calendar or in a noticeable location.
  • Place medications where you can see them (but out of reach from children or pets).
  • Have an accountability partner (family member, spouse) who checks in with you about how you’ve been doing with taking your medication.
  • Schedule your medications around daily routines and use pairing of routines to establish habits (e.g., always taking your medication before bed and after you brush your teeth).
  • Keep a small supply of your medication at work, in your bag, or other places.7 Store medication at room temperature in a protected container.

It is a marathon, not a sprint! Here are some factors for long-term success:

  • Meet with your healthcare team regularly. Ask questions and communicate your needs and concerns.
  • Build strong social supports and ask for help when you need it. Meet with a therapist or mental health provider to support your emotional wellbeing.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Strive for a low fat, low salt diet and drink plenty of fluids. Depending on your medications or if you have diabetes or other health conditions, you may still have some dietary restrictions.
  • Exercise regularly and maintain a healthy weight. Ensure adequate sleep. Continue relaxation, meditation, and mindfulness practices. Even one minute of deep breathing can be so helpful during a stressful moment!
  • To learn more about kidney transplant FAQs and how to stay healthy after a transplant, you can use the Care After Kidney Transplant smartphone app.

For prolonged or more significant mental health difficulties before, during, or after kidney transplant, know your resources in case of a crisis or for getting established with a mental health provider:

Dr. Elizabeth Christofferson is an assistant professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and a licensed clinical psychologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado.She is the clinical director for psychology for the Solid Organ Transplant Teams in the Kidney Center at CHCO.


  1. Amatya, K., Monnin, K., & Christofferson, E. S. (in press). Psychological functioning and psychosocial issues in pediatric kidney transplant recipients. [Within Special Issue: Healthy Living in Pediatric Transplant Patients]. Pediatric Transplantation, in press.
  2. Chilcot, J., Spencer, B. W. J., Maple, H., & Mamode, N. (2014). Depression and kidney transplantation. Transplantation, 97(7), 717–721.
  3. Corruble, E., Durrbach, A., Charpentier, B., Lang, P., Amidi, S., Dezamis, A., Barry, C., & Falissard, B. (2010). Progressive increase of anxiety and depression in patients waiting for a kidney transplantation. Behavioral Medicine, 36(1), 32–36.
  4. Davydow, D. S., Lease, E. D., & Reyes, J. D. (2015). Posttraumatic stress disorder in organ transplant recipients: A systematic review. General Hospital Psychiatry, 37(5), 387–398.
  5. Gross, C. R., Kreitzer, M. J., Thomas, W., Reilly-Spong, M., Cramer-Bornemann, M., Nyman, J. A., Frazier, P., & Ibrahim, H. N. (2010). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for solid organ transplant recipients: A randomized controlled trial. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 16(5), 30–38.
  6. How to prepare for a kidney donation. (n.d.). Geisinger. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from
  7. Kidney Transplant. (2017, January 26). National Kidney Foundation.
  8. Koushik, N. S., McArthur, S. F., & Baird, A. D. (2010). Adult chronic kidney disease: Neurocognition in chronic renal failure. Neuropsychology Review, 20(1), 33–51.
  9. Kuntz, K., Weinland, S. R., & Butt, Z. (2015). Psychosocial challenges in solid organ transplantation. Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings, 22(2–3), 122–135.
  10. Novak, M., Zsolt Molnar, M., Szeifert, L., Zsofia Kovacs, A., Panna Vamos, E., Zoller, R., Keszei, A., & Mucsi, I. (2010). Depressive symptoms and mortality in patients after kidney transplantation: A prospective prevalent cohort study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 72(6), 527–534.
  11. Possemato, K., Geller, P., & Ouimette, P. (2009). Posttraumatic stress and quality of life in kidney transplantation recipients. Traumatology, 15, 34–39.
  12. Preparing for transplant. (n.d.). American Kidney Fund. Retrieved July 23, 2020, from
  13. Szeifert, L., Molnar, M. Z., Ambrus, C., Koczy, A. B., Kovacs, A. Z., Vamos, E. P., Keszei, A., Mucsi, I., & Novak, M. (2010). Symptoms of depression in kidney transplant recipients: A cross-sectional study. American Journal of Kidney Diseases: The Official Journal of the National Kidney Foundation, 55(1), 132–140.
  14. Tong, A., Henning, P., Wong, G., McTaggart, S., Mackie, F., Carroll, R. P., & Craig, J. C. (2013). Experiences and perspectives of adolescents and young adults With advanced CKD. American Journal of Kidney Diseases, 61(3), 375–384.
(Video) Kidney Transplant Recovery - Week 1, 2 and 3 (Advice and Tips To Help Recovery in 2019)

Hannah Bracamonte2020-12-11T09:37:28-05:00September 3rd, 2020|Categories: Additional Resources, Fact Sheet, Kidney Transplant, Lifestyle, Mental Health, Physical Health, Stress Management, Support, The Kidney Citizen|Tags: COVID-19|

Share Your New Knowledge!


(Video) Facebook Live: Optimizing your health before and after kidney transplant.

Related Posts

  • The Case for Personalized Kidney Screening for People with Type 1 Diabetes

    November 3rd, 2022

  • Building Legacy Through Advocacy

    October 27th, 2022

    (Video) How to stay socially connected and maintaining your health & wellbeing

  • Supreme Court Erases Kidney Patients’ Insurance Protections

    October 27th, 2022


How can I be healthy after a kidney transplant? ›

After a kidney transplant, plan to follow a diet low in salt and high in fiber. A balanced diet includes a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats, reduced-fat dairy products, whole grains, and plenty of water. Additionally, you may need to avoid eating certain types of foods.

What should I do before kidney transplant? ›

Avoid blood thinners including aspirin for at least one week prior to surgery. The day before surgery, eat light meals until noon and then clear liquids. Stay well hydrated; the day of surgery, you should drink clear liquids until two hours before arrival at the hospital.

How is quality of life after a kidney transplant? ›

A successful kidney transplant may allow you to live longer and to live the kind of life you were living before you got kidney disease. For many patients, there are fewer limits on what you can eat and drink, though you should follow a heart-healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight to help your new kidney last.

How do you care for someone after a transplant? ›

Below are tips for those who are caring for organ transplant patients.
  1. Stay organized. ...
  2. Communicate. ...
  3. Track progress. ...
  4. Keep a schedule. ...
  5. Prevent infection. ...
  6. Provide transportation. ...
  7. Stay positive. ...
  8. Remain patient.

What are the long term issues for a person with a kidney transplant? ›

Other longer-term risks. There is a higher risk of some types of cancer following a transplant. Skin cancers are particularly common in kidney transplant patients. Other cancers, such as lymphomas, are also more common in kidney transplant patients.

What foods should be avoided after kidney transplant? ›

During the early stages after a transplant, while you're on higher doses of immunosuppressant medicine, you should avoid eating foods that carry a high risk of food poisoning, including: unpasteurised cheese, milk or yoghurt. foods containing raw eggs (such as mayonnaise) undercooked or raw meats, fish and shellfish.

What kind of health do you need to be in to donate a kidney? ›

As a general rule, you should be 18 years or older. You must also have normal kidney function. There are some medical conditions that could prevent you from being a living donor. These include having uncontrolled high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, HIV, hepatitis, or acute infections.

What is the most difficult challenge to overcome in achieving successful kidney transplants? ›

Reduction of death with functioning graft and chronic allograft nephropathy will be the greatest challenge of all physicians who care for kidney transplant recipients.

What considerations should be made before doing an organ transplant? ›

UNOS then generates a list of potential recipients, based on such factors as:
  • Blood type.
  • Tissue type.
  • Organ size.
  • Medical urgency of the patient's illness.
  • Time already spent on the waiting list.
  • Geographical distance between the donor and the recipient.
4 May 2021

How do you live longer after a kidney transplant? ›

Life After Kidney Transplant
  1. Healthy Diet And Regular Exercise. A kidney transplant surgery will require you to eat foods that are low in salt and fat, to keep your blood pressure in check. ...
  2. Immunosuppressants. ...
  3. Ensure Positive Mental Health. ...
  4. Lifestyle Changes. ...
  5. Keeping Your New Kidney Healthy.
1 Mar 2019

What are two disadvantages of kidney transplants? ›

Main complications of a kidney transplant:
  • It is a major operation and comes with surgical risks, like bleeding.
  • Infections are common after a kidney transplant.
  • You will need to take strong medicines to lower your immune system.
  • You may need further surgery to fix any problems.

Can you go back to normal life after kidney transplant? ›

Many people feel back to normal after a transplant, once the operation and frequent clinic visits of the first three months are over.

Who will support the patient during and after their transplant? ›

The role of the Recipient Transplant Co-ordinator is to support and guide the recipient through their transplant pathway.

What are the two main risks for transplant patients? ›

Reaction to the anesthetic (medicine that makes you sleep during surgery) Injury to other organs during surgery.

What do transplant patients need to take? ›

After an organ transplant, you will need to take immunosuppressant (anti-rejection) drugs. These drugs help prevent your immune system from attacking ("rejecting") the donor organ. Typically, they must be taken for the lifetime of your transplanted organ.

What is the most common cause of kidney transplant failure? ›

Chronic Rejection

This is the most common reason that kidney transplants fail. It is the long-term damage done by the body's immune system for a lot of different reasons. It is important to realize that transplant patients have NO CONTROL over most of these causes of transplant failure.

What are some of the challenges that recipients of kidney transplants face? ›

After kidney transplantation, patients have reported difficulty with medication side effects, declining health, fear of return to dialysis, overmedicalization of life, cost of immunosuppressive therapy and post-transplant complications such as malignancy, infection and cardiovascular events [13,14,15,16,17].

What is the most common post transplantation complication? ›

Acute rejection — is the most common kind and develops over a short period of time, a few days or weeks. The risk is highest during the first 2 to 3 months, but can also happen a year or more after transplant. Chronic rejection — is a process that occurs slowly and over a long period of time.

Can I drink coffee after kidney transplant? ›

Drink at least half of your fluid intake as water. Choose low-calorie beverages such as water, skim milk, sugar-free soft drinks, sugar-free crystal drinks, carbonated water, and decaffeinated tea and coffee.

Can I eat banana after kidney transplant? ›

However, some transplant medicines can increase your blood level of potassium, while other medicines may decrease it. Foods high in potassium include: Oranges. Bananas.

How much water should a kidney transplant patient drink a day? ›

Fluid Intake

It can be really hard when you get your transplant and suddenly you're being told you need to drink more because it's been so ingrained in you for many years not to drink too much. So this can be a big learning curve. Most people will need about two liters of fluids per day.

Do you have to change your lifestyle if you donate a kidney? ›

As long as the donor is evaluated thoroughly and cleared for donation, he or she can lead a normal life after the surgery. When the kidney is removed, the single normal kidney will increase in size to compensate for the loss of the donated kidney. Physical exercise is healthy and good for you.

Can you live a healthy life if you donate a kidney? ›

People lead healthy lives with one kidney. After kidney donation, your remaining kidney will increase in size and take over the whole job of filtering your blood. Health outcomes for living donors are excellent and 99 percent of donors say they would recommend living kidney donation.

Can a woman donate a kidney to a man? ›

Conclusions. Our results suggested gender matching for kidney transplant. Only in some exceptional conditions, male donor to female recipient kidney transplant may be successful and female donors to male recipients are not suggested, especially in aged patients with the history of dialysis.

What are 3 best ways to prevent rejection of kidney transplantation? ›

How can you prevent organ rejection and promote immune tolerance of a transplant?
  1. Ensure recipient and donor have compatible blood types.
  2. Perform genetic testing to ensure compatible recipient and donor matches.
  3. In the case of living donors, donor organs from relatives are preferred.
5 Oct 2020

What is the biggest challenge for any patient in need of transplant surgery? ›

Organ transplantation has become an established and life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage organ failure. However, patients still face constraints when it comes to access to transplantation, as well as its efficacy. One major concern is the global shortage of organs for transplantation.

What is the leading cause of death in renal transplant patients? ›

Table 2
Cause of DeathMean Age at Transplant, yrMean Survival, mo
Gastrointestinal tract disorder36.412.1
Malignant neoplasm49.029.5
5 more rows

What are two factors that are considered before organs are allocated to recipients? ›

We simply don't have enough donated organs to transplant everyone in need, so we balance factors of: justice (fair consideration of candidates' circumstances and medical needs), and. medical utility (trying to increase the number of transplants performed and the length of time patients and organs survive).

What other factors should go into choosing who should get an organ when two people are eligible? ›

Factors such as medical urgency, time spent on the waiting list, organ size, blood type and genetic makeup are considered. The organ is offered first to the candidate that is the best match.

What happens during a kidney transplant? ›

First, an incision (cut) is made in your lower abdomen (tummy), through which the donated kidney is put into place. Your own kidneys will usually be left where they are, unless they're causing problems such as pain or infection. Second, nearby blood vessels are attached to the blood vessels of the donated kidney.

How do you feel after a kidney transplant? ›

Your belly and side will be sore for the first 1 to 2 weeks after surgery. You also may have some numbness around the cut (incision) the doctor made. You may feel tired while you are healing. It may take 3 to 6 weeks for your energy to fully return.

How long does it take to fully recover from a kidney transplant? ›

Most kidney transplant recipients can return to work and other normal activities within eight weeks after transplant. Avoid lifting objects weighing more than 10 pounds or exercising other than walking until the wound has healed (usually about six weeks after surgery). Have frequent checkups as you continue recovering.

What is the best age for kidney transplant? ›

Background. Currently the majority of patients developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) whom are eligible for kidney transplantation are between 45 and 65 years of age [1, 2]. A kidney transplant has an expected half-life of 7–15 years [3–6].

Do you gain weight after a kidney transplant? ›

Excessive weight gain is a common concern after receiving a transplant, as it affects about two thirds of all kidney transplant recipients. Post-transplant weight gain is also common with other solid organ transplants.

Who is the longest living kidney transplant patient? ›

More Videos. ATLANTA — Georgia native Steve White was one of the first patients to receive a kidney transplant at Emory Hospital.

Who Cannot get a kidney transplant? ›

You may not be eligible to receive a kidney transplant due to: The presence of some other life-threatening disease or condition that would not improve with transplantation. This could include certain cancers, infections that cannot be treated or cured, or severe, uncorrectable heart disease.

What foods should kidney transplant patients avoid? ›

What are some of the 'high-risk' foods to avoid?
  • Meat, poultry and fish.
  • Prawns or shrimp.
  • Crayfish.
  • Crab.
  • Squid.
  • Clams, oysters, and mussels.
  • Sushi.

How can I help a kidney transplant patient? ›

Steps to Keep Your Transplanted Kidney
  1. Schedule regular healthcare visits.
  2. Take all your medications every day and at the same time as instructed.
  3. Discuss any medication concerns or side effects with your transplant team.
  4. Eat healthy.
  5. Get regular exercise.
  6. Keep a healthy weight.

What is a transplant support person? ›

A transplant caregiver is anyone who provides direct support or care to someone who has received a blood or marrow transplant. This support may be medical, financial or emotional. A caregiver can be: A spouse or partner.

What is the biggest problem of organ transplant? ›

Donor Organ Supply. The shortage of donor organs represents the most challenging global problem. Although the number of transplants during the last three decades increased 2-fold, the number of patients on waiting lists increased 6-fold.

What is one of the leading causes of death in a transplant patient? ›

Therefore, it is an essential task of any individual transplant program to understand those causes in order to improve long-term outcomes. In the US, the three leading causes of death after transplantation are cardiovascular disease, malignancy, and infections.

What is the highest risk for renal transplant patients? ›

Infection. Minor infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), colds and flu, are common after kidney transplants. You can also get more serious infections, such as pneumonia and cytomegalovirus (CMV), which may require hospital treatment.

How do you take care of a kidney transplant at home? ›

Your kidney transplant is more likely to work for longer if you keep to a healthy weight, exercise regularly, only drink alcohol in moderation and stop smoking. You may feel sore for a week or two after the operation. Your doctor will talk to you about pain management and medications you can take to relieve the pain.

What are the nursing considerations during kidney transplant? ›

The postoperative nursing care of the renal transplant recipient is similar in many ways to the care of any patient who has undergone a major surgical procedure; the emphasis is on maintenance of fluid and electrolyte balance, wound care, pain management, good pulmonary toilet with incentive spirometry, early ...

Do you go back to normal after a kidney transplant? ›

Most people are able to go back to work within 12 weeks after a kidney transplant. But this depends on your recovery and the type of work you do. Some jobs, for example heavy manual work, might require more recovery time.

Is hair loss from tacrolimus permanent? ›

Alopecia has generally been a reversible phenomenon with tacrolimus dosage reduction, although there may be a lag time.

Is a kidney transplant considered a disability? ›

An individual who undergoes kidney transplantation is considered to be under a disability for 12 months following surgery. Thereafter, the individual is evaluated on kidney function.

Can I climb stairs after kidney transplant? ›

Walking up and down a few stairs is permitted. Avoid lifting more than 5 kgs (10 lbs) (including children) for the first 6 weeks after surgery. Lifting and straining may result in opening of your wound. You may drive ~2 months after surgery if you are not taking pain medications.

What fruits should kidney transplant patients avoid? ›

Most foods and drinks are completely safe for you to take after transplant. Please AVOID grapefruit, pomegranate, pomelo, blood orange, and black licorice, as these can increase the amount of anti- rejection medication in your body and this could harm you.

Why do kidney transplants only last 10 years? ›

While transplanted organs can last the rest of your life, many don't. Some of the reasons may be beyond your control: low-grade inflammation from the transplant could wear on the organ, or a persisting disease or condition could do to the new organ what it did to the previous one.


1. Stay socially connected through The Kidney Wellness Hub. We are stronger and better together!
2. Care for Your New Kidney: What You Need to Know After Your Kidney Transplant
(Cleveland Clinic)
3. Kidney Transplant: What to Expect | IU Health
(IU Health)
4. How do I become eligible to receive a kidney transplant?
5. Kidney donation and transplant requirements
(Piedmont Healthcare)
(Cindy Flores)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Maia Crooks Jr

Last Updated: 11/26/2022

Views: 6568

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Maia Crooks Jr

Birthday: 1997-09-21

Address: 93119 Joseph Street, Peggyfurt, NC 11582

Phone: +2983088926881

Job: Principal Design Liaison

Hobby: Web surfing, Skiing, role-playing games, Sketching, Polo, Sewing, Genealogy

Introduction: My name is Maia Crooks Jr, I am a homely, joyous, shiny, successful, hilarious, thoughtful, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.